Dominic Thiem won the biggest title of his career by clinching the 2019 Indian Wells Masters on Sunday. He defeated favourite Roger Federer to win his first ever Masters trophy in the process.
The Austrian seventh seed, who has been runner-up on two previous occasions at a Masters tournament and once at a Grand Slam, shrugged off a poor start to the match to beat Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and take home a pay-cheque of $1.34 million.
In the process, Federer was denied a chance to notch up a record sixth Indian Wells Masters title, having also lost in the final last year to Juan Martin del Potro.
Interestingly, Thiem, who has been tipped to be the next big thing in tennis, hadn’t had the best of starts to the season. There were first and second round losses at Doha and Australian Open, and was then knocked out in the first round of the Rio Open.
After a first round bye, Thiem overcame Jordan Thompson, Gilles Simon and Ivo Karlovic to make it to the quarter-final where he got a walkover from an injured Gael Monfils. A tough three-set win over Milos Raonic followed with the fortnight finally culminating into a title victory.
Thiem said after the win:
“I was in the zone the whole match. I had to get used to Roger’s game. In the first set he was playing amazing. It was completely different from my opponents before him.”
“I was struggling to work my way into the match. I had to fight to save those break points early in the second set. It was a very good match until the end and I had to fight to serve it out.”
Federer was gracious as usual in defeat, acknowledging he had come up against a better opponent. He said:
“I’m not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it did feel like to some extent it was on my racquet. I just came up against somebody who was, on the day, a bit better when it really mattered. That’s how it goes.”
“Sure, it’s frustrating and disappointing and sad to some extent. But look, I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly.”
The Swiss maestro will join Thiem in the Miami Masters which begins from Wednesday. Both will have a bye into the second round of the tournament.